UFC 297 Predictions: Strickland vs Du Plessis & Pennington vs Bueno Silva

Five of our last six UFC picks have been winners heading into UFC 297



5 months ago

The news.betzone.co.uk UFC betting tips have put up five winning bets from our last six selections and return to the octagon with two more picks for the UFC 297 card from Toronto, Canada – live from 01:00 this Sunday on TNT Sports 1.

Sean Strickland defends his middleweight title against Dricus Du Plessis at the top of the bill, with that matchup preceded by a co-headliner in which Raquel Pennington takes on Mayra Bueno Silva for the vacant UFC bantamweight belt.

UFC 297 betting tips

Du Plessis to beat Strickland by KO/TKO @ 20/21

Bueno Silva to beat Pennington by submission @ 4/7

Bet on the latest MMA and UFC odds at Betzone

South African stoppage sensation ends Strickland’s short reign

Sean Strickland pulled off one of the octagon shocks of the year in 2023 when snatching Israel Adesanya’s UFC Middleweight strap with a totally unforeseen yet dominant decision W at UFC 293.

It was a huge vindication for the veteran of 33 MMA fights (including 20 in UFC) and sees him enter his first title defence as 4/6 favourite to see off fearsome South African Dricus Du Plessis.

Du Plessis fights for the belt in just his seventh UFC bout and his 21/20 underdog status is indicative of how much respect the odds-compilers have for his chances, whilst remaining a value bet.

‘Stillknocks’ has won 20 of his 22 fights in MMA with all bar one of those victories coming inside the distance. Of those 19 stoppage wins, 10 have come by KO/TKO while nine have come via submission, but since he stepped up to the UFC punches have become his dominant win method.

Strickland is also a come-forward fighter with a bias towards striking. Following a heated build up to this match that included a brawl in the crowd at UFC 296 and plenty of trashtalk in fight week this should be a war and that’s expected to lead to another Du Plessis fight ending early.

The superior puncher of the two, the South African is expected to KO/TKO Strickland (twice stopped by strikes in UFC) and this is the first fight in this promotion in which he’s had the luxury of five rounds in which to do so.

Best bet: Du Plessis to beat Strickland by KO/TKO @ 20/21

Take Pennington to tap out for second championship fight loss

A similar tale of coming force getting the better of respected veteran is expected to go down in the co-headline bout between Raquel Pennington and Mayra Bueno Silva.

Pennington is the 5/4 match betting outsider to claim a first UFC championship in her 17th fight in the promotion, six years and nine fights after being stopped by Amanda Nunes in her sole previous title tilt.

However, she may be forced to watch on as another women is handed the belt a second time given her Brazilian opponent’s impressive start to life in UFC. Pennington is typically a grinder and has toughed out decision wins in four of her last five fights.

The 8/13 favourite Bueno Silva on the other hand, is an adept submission specialist having claimed seven of her 10 MMA wins to date by tap-out, including in two of her last three.

That would have been each of her last three had her submission win over Holly Holm in July not subsequently been ruled a no-contest due to the Sao Paolo native’s positive test for Ritalin.

Backing Bueno Silva to win by her much-favoured method adds decent value to a bet her victory, with a win by submission on offer at 4/7.

Best bet: Bueno Silva to beat Raquel Pennington by submission @ 4/7